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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014

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Digital media offerings can enhance the game day experience at Milwaukee Brewers games.

Digital media a big hit at the ballpark


Many of us who have had the opportunity to attend a Brewers game can conjure memories distinctive to the experience. Maybe it was ordering peanuts and letting the shells hit the floor, or noticing all the people who kept their own score sheets.

I remember as a child of the 1980s the number of Walkman radios I'd see people using with headphones to listen to Bob Uecker make the call when they were there watching.

Today, there are many more fan-centric things going on at the ballpark beyond the game on the field. There are bigger gift shops, and more food offerings than there ever was in the past.

One sorry truth is the expanded use of the smart phone to pull attention away from the game and their face to face interaction with others, somtimes even their own children. Obviously, I'd like to think of the opportunity to go to a game to be relaxing; something special to escape to for a few hours. But, it is important to interact with fans wherever they are, and today that means on a digital screen.

I'll get off my soapbox to acknowledge that there are some new digital features available at Miller Park that can enhance the game day experience.

Earlier this week, the Brewers announced the inclusion of a new app that allows fans to upgrade tickets at the game. In partnership with Experience (expapp.com), Brewers fans will be able to access seat upgrades through MLB's At the Ballpark app, free for iPhone, iPod touch and Android tablets.

"Once downloaded, fans can select 'Miller Park' as their venue of choice and will be able to take advantage of seat upgrades," the press release stated.

Somehow, the app must be taking inventory of the unsold, available seats and making them available for a last-minute seating change.

"We are excited to introduce this new software for fans to enhance their Miller Park experience," said Brewers Chief Operating Officer Rick Schlesinger. "The process of upgrading seats is quick and easy and a feature that fans will enjoy throughout the season."

Season ticket holders will have first access to what's available and will be able to take advantage of discounts through the season.

"Through our technology, Experience empowers teams with the unique ability to create more loyal and dynamic fan relationships and to enhance the overall experience at MLB games," said Experience President Ben Ackerman.

"Working with the Brewers, fans will be able to redefine their experience at Miller Park like never before. By upgrading, fans can tailor their game day based on who they are with and where they would like to sit."

SPEAKING OF BALLPARK STUFF: Brewers fans could also use their smart phones to vote for the, "We Energies High-Energy Player of the Year" award.

From now through Sept. 7 supporters can go to brewers.com/WeEnergies to select the, "player who they believe best personifies the characteristics of hard work and an aggressive approach to playing the game."

Carlos Gomez won the award in 2013. Other winners include Ryan Braun (2008 and 2012), Nyjer Morgan (2011), Rickie Weeks (2010), Craig Counsell (2009), Prince Fielder (2007) and Bill Hall (2006). Fans can vote once per week and be entered to win a grand prize which includes being on the field for the presentation, six Field Diamond Box tickets, a luxury suite for a 2015 game, the opportunity to throw out a ceremonial first pitch, and an authentic jersey signed by the High-Energy Player of the Year.

Another 52 voters could win four Loge Outfield tickets for a Brewers home game between June 1 and Sept. 28.

WEEKEND NEWS: Fox News will present a one-hour special "Fox News Reporting: The NSA's Secret War – Who's the Enemy?" on Saturday at 9 p.m.

Hosted by Bret Baier, the special focuses on the National Security Agency and takes viewers inside the operational heart of the NSA's headquarters. The program will feature interviews from those within the agency as well as the agency's critics, including Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), General Keith Alexander and General Michael Hayden, among others.


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